Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year in Gatlinburg

I have been remiss in my posts because I was in Gatlinburg last week and was not a good blogger who pre-wrote anything to post throughout the week. I was just not mentally prepared for that as I scurried to pack for the trip and finish orders before I left. It's funny because as a small business owner, it's almost not worth taking a vacation because you have so much to do to prepare to leave and just as much (if not more) to do to catch up when you get back. It was a nice vacation in the mountains though, and we made lots of fun memories!

It snowed on Thursday, and while it was lovely to watch and what most people hope for when staying in a mountain lodge, it has a treacherous undertone to it when one is not prepared for driving in it. By the time we were ready to head back to the cabin, all the water had frozen the steep driveway and the snow has compacted. We couldn't get any traction and the wheels kept spinning and I had a mini panic attack. I just envisioned spinning over the edge of the mountain or crashing into a parked vehicle, creating a domino effect of crashed cars down the street. We eventually decided to park at the bottom and walk up. This was thankfully our only "adventure" of the week!

My absolute favorite place to eat in Gatlinburg is Pancake Pantry; it is the most delicious breakfast you will ever eat, and the atmosphere is perfect! I was promised breakfast there every morning, but sadly, we went only once. There will always be a line wrapped around the block, but it will always be worth the wait! I think all these local breakfast restaurants are run by little old ladies because our breakfasts weren't served by anyone under 50, but I think they do that on purpose for that "down home, country" feel. It totally works, too.

Another favorite is the Applewood Restaurant in Pigeon Forge where they have the most delicious apple fritters. I mean, really, de-li-cious! It took all I had to not claim the whole basket to myself and share, but I am a giving person. This place is known for all their foods baked, cooked, and showcased with apples in mind. It's a huge attraction with several eateries and shops that are always fun to walk around in.

And of course, what is a trip to the Gatlinburg area without a visit to the Dixie Stampede? A sad one at that, I say. It is a treat to enjoy the rodeo show with a friendly competition between the North and South, and since this was during the holidays, it was between the North and South Poles. Sadly, we were in the North Pole section, and unfortunately lost, but we won't linger on that subject. The food is finger-lickin', mostly because you are not provided any utensils. This does not hinder me devouring all the yumminess, I'm specifically referring to the soup here, as I'm sure anyone who's gone can vouch for me here. The soup is definitely the highlight of the meal.
Although not a local restaurant, we had dinner at the Melting Pot one evening. My sister had never been so it was fun introducing her to all the fondue choices and overall deliciousness. She enjoyed it, of course, so it was worth the somewhat more expensive price. Albert and I managed to take one decent picture this evening, but he was in a particularly funny mood and decided to make faces in most of them. This is me shamelessly deciding to post those in retaliation. (Love you!)

Happy New Year, everyone!